Squirrels love my pear tree

I have a great pear tree in my front yard that provides some of the greatest, sweetest pears I've ever tasted. However, the squirrels have found this out as well and in the past few years, have gotten to all of the pears before I have. Any ideas on how I can prevent them from stealing my harvest? There are plenty of other trees nearby, so preventing them from climbing the trunk of the pear tree wouldn't help.
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Here's the skinny on protecting fruit trees from squirrel harvest: http://www.paghat.com/squirrelcontrol.html
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I have a peach tree. I harvested at least 10 bushels of peaches this year, and that did not count the peaches with one bite out of it from the squirrels. If you pear tree is producing so few fruits that a squirrel can compete with you, maybe it's an idea to find out how to increase yields. There is no compassionate way to keep wildlife out of the wild.
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Or maybe you just don't have so many squirrels. I have two dwarf peach trees that are covered with tiny peaches every year - more yield would put the branches on the ground! - and as they grow, my squirrels grab them. They take one bite and throw them down, grab another, etc.
I did not get one ripe peach this year. I tried the bird netting but the slimy little b**tards chew through and shinny up to grab another unripe peach.
These are fat sleek squirrels - no starving guys here.
I saw plans for a "wire house" where you basically build a box of 1 x 2s and hardware cloth - with a door! - to be able to protect the harvest from the squirrels. Maybe I'll try that next year.
escapee wrote:

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The wire room would work. However, dwarf trees should be giving you regular sized fruit. The fruit is not dwarf, also. Anyway, the structure you are thinking of is really cheap and easy to build. My tree is about 12 feet tall, so not really all that beneficial for me to use such a method. I am going to plant another in the front yard this year to allow neighbors who love my peaches to come and harvest their own.

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Is there a house next to you for sale?
Felice
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Actually, they just sold one two doors down. I wanted my mom to buy it, but she is not ready to leave New York and all its illustrious smells.
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I just realized the pear tree I planted out at my mothers had pears, but no more and I am sure it was the squirrels too. I am thinking about building a wire cage around the tree. it all seemed to start with the edible pit apricot tree ... it was loaded and then the squirrels stripped it in 24 hours and after that they went for all the fruit. Ingrid

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List http://puregold.aquaria.net / www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Unfortunately, I receive no money, gifts, discounts or other compensation for all the damn work I do, nor for any of the endorsements or recommendations I make.
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snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.xx.com wrote:

The plans I saw were very simple. You build in sections that can be bolted together on the sides and top and collapsed at the end of the season and then stacked in the basement. Like making several "screen doors" with one that is hinged for access to your fruit. It is lot of work and expense for getting fresh peaches.
If you find something simpler, please post it.
I'd think you would also have to put some barrier down into the ground to prevent burrowing.
I'd rather use a .22 but my neighbors are too close.
They don't touch my fig tree. I don't like figs and I had tons of them this year. Gave away baskets of them.
I HATE squirrels.
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aluminum conduit 10' high sections. chicken wire. those plastic ties. that is about how simple I can get it. put concrete block at the bottom, buried stays put and drive conduit down into holes of block. yeah. shooting isnt a good thing, but I am getting ready to start trapping and drowning the tree rats. I am fed up with all their damage. I LOVE FIGS. I LOVE FIGS I LOVE FIGS I LOVE FIGS I LOVE FIGS send me some. Ingrid

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List http://puregold.aquaria.net / www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Unfortunately, I receive no money, gifts, discounts or other compensation for all the damn work I do, nor for any of the endorsements or recommendations I make.
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Sterling wrote:

If you live out in the country but your neighbors are too close, use a shotgun with 2 3/4" shells and small shot. If you are in the city, use an air rifle, but only when you have a clear shot and know what your backstop will be.
Bob
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opined:

It is not so simple. My yard supports between two and three dozens squirrels, due to the presence of about twenty hickories, several oaks, and several walnuts. During the warm season they eat in succession elm, ash, and maple seeds. They never touched the raspberries, for example, though they have always taken most of the mulberries from a weeping specimen in the frontyard.
But then all ash trees died within a year, due to the borer, and suddenly they have a hole in their crop cycle. They have hammered the raspberries and even tried a few tomatoes.
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On 27 Sep 2004 07:40:08 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com (simy1) wrote:

You really really need some hawks. I've just been googling squirrel predators (the building I live in backs onto an urban conservation area, and boy, oh boy, do we have squirrels! They scale the building to get at my balcony tomatoes) and after checking out predators at http://www.britishcolumbia.com/Wildlife/wildlife/landmammals/cw/cw_easterngreysquirrel.html , it becomes pretty obvious why squirrels do so well in cities: There isn't enough continuous habitat to support hawks! So, I guess the longterm wildlife management question is, now to get more hawks to live in your neighbourhood?
Shirley Hicks, Toronto, Ontairo TB
"A liberal is a conservative who's been through treatment." - Garrison Keillor
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http://www.britishcolumbia.com/Wildlife/wildlife/landmammals/cw/cw_easterngreysquirrel.html ,
I got hawks. There used to be none, continuously chased away by the crows. But then the West Nile virus came through, exterminated the crows, and the hawks have returned. I saw a squirrel kill live (very ipmressive), but there is still too much cover for them to be decimated. The hawks prefer the snakes and voles out in the meadow.

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http://www.britishcolumbia.com/Wildlife/wildlife/landmammals/cw/cw_easterngreysquirrel.html ,
I got hawks. There used to be none, continuously chased away by the crows. But then the West Nile virus came through, exterminated the crows, and the hawks have returned. I saw a squirrel kill live (very ipmressive), but there is still too much cover for them to be decimated. The hawks prefer the snakes and voles out in the meadow.

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hmmm...try a solution of hot pepper powder and water, sprayed onto the ripening fruit. I understand some folks bring the mix to a boil, then cool it down. Strain before pouring into sprayer through cheescloth or something similar to avoid stoppages. Difficulty with this approach is that you need to respray from time to time, especially after a rain. And, of course, you have to rinse off the fruit before eating....but you do that anyway, don't you?

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Lawrence Akutagawa wrote:

gotta laugh about this. Before I got such good baffles for my bird feeders, I was going nuts trying to keep the squirrels out of the bird seed. I tried the cayenne pepper suggestion: shake the hot pepper mix over the birdseed and the squirrels won't touch it.
well, the greedy little beggars were out there eating the peppered seed by the handful. My son remarked: Those are squirrels that followed us from New Orleans - they are out there saying 'you give us a litte' red wine with this here bird seed, we be havin a feast!"
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Get a cage trap, bait it with sunflower seeds, and dunk the squirrels in a large plastic bin of water. Dump the carcass in a plastic bag and throw away, or you could just bury the dead squirrel for fertilizer.
Squirrels hide and bury food all over the place, attracting rats and mice. They also get into structures and chew on wires.
Don't believe the closet squirrel lovers who say that killing squirrels does no good. That's a lie. The squirrel population is not infinite. You can quickly reduce the squirrel population in your area to zero in a short time. If later a squirrel moves it, trap it too. Just leave the trap out and ready to go. Think about it: No sane person would say not to trap moles, gophers, rats or mice on the premise that there are "more out there somewhere". The funny thing is that these same eco-nuts will object to fur trapping because it'll cause extinction (among other things). They like to have it both ways.
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